Sports Medicine

Exercise Reduces Pain, Improves Musculoskeletal Outcomes in the Elderly

By MD Magazine Staff

Study results suggest that a community-based, low-impact exercise program appears to successfully help older patients with musculoskeletal conditions living in underserved communities improve musculoskeletal outcomes and quality of life. Many participants in the program experienced decreased pain, improved mobility, and enhanced overall health.

The program was offered by the Hospital for Special Surgery in senior centers in New York City’s Chinatown, Flushing, and Queens communities as part of a study titled “The Effectiveness of a Low-Impact Exercise Program on Musculoskeletal Health of Asian Older Adults,” which was presented at the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals annual meeting on November 9 in San Francisco.

“Getting seniors to be active in any way will generally improve their quality of life and help them function better in their everyday activities,” said Linda Russell, MD, a rheumatologist and chair of the Public and Patient Education Advisory Committee at the Hospital for Special Surgery, who was not involved in the study. “People believe that if you have arthritis you shouldn’t exercise, but appropriate exercises actually help decrease pain.”

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